The Wednesday Shuffle
Back to Wednesdays, and it feels so right. (Anything rather than go outdoors in this weather...)
1. "The Bad Thing" / Arctic Monkeys
From Favourite Worst Nightmare (2007)
Are the Arctic Monkeys over? I hope not. Here's what I wrote about this scrappy track a couple years ago when the album first came out...
2. "Isn't That the Thing To Do?" / Maria Muldaur
From Love Wants to Dance (2004)
Nice little palate cleanser, with Maria letting out her jazz side on this Gershwin standard.
3. "How Can I Sing Like a Girl?" / They Might Be Giants
From Factory Showroom (1996)
"I want to raise my freak flag / And never be alone" -- yes, it's another off-kilter nerd anthem from the Johns. That nasal whine of John Linnell is perfect for this song.
4. "There Ain't Half Been Some Clever Bastards" / Ian Dury and the Blockheads
From Reasons to Be Cheerful (1978)
Speaking of raising freak flags....here's my favorite Ian Dury tune ever (here's why). Which reminds me -- I've just got the new biopic Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll from Netflix -- must watch!
5. "Sleepwalker" / The Kinks
From Sleepwalker (1977)
Or, "How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love My Insomnia," by Ray Davies. Another freak flag raised! This bouncy track IMHO isn't one of the Kinks' best -- odd it should be the title track of an album. But there are Kinks fans who love it, so what do I know?
6. "Money Talks" / The Kinks
From Preservation Act 2 (1974)
Now this is more my Kinks -- savage satire with histrionic flair. Being deep into Keith Richards' Life at the moment, I realize what a pitch-perfect Stones impression this is. I'm noticing the dirty slide guitar and lovin' it.
7. "New Slang" / The Shins
From Oh, Inverted World (2001)
Charming folk-pop jangle from James Mercer and Co., spiked with stream-of-consciousness absurdity. Yes, I'll admit it, this song on the Garden State soundtrack was my back-door introduction to these indie darlings. There is an art to a great soundtrack, though. Must blog about that sometime...
8. "Don't Bug Me When I'm Working" / Little Village
From Little Village (1992)
Talk about dirty guitar -- Ry Cooder gets just plain nasty on this one. Oh, and Johnny Hiatt's snarling lead vocals, with Ry and Nick Lowe each insinuating a verse. ("I can't even work with my baby at night -- Lord have mercy!") Tell me again why Little Village didn't work out?
9. "Full Moon in My Soul" / Robyn Hitchcock
From Spooked (2004)
More folk-pop jangle, with Robyn out-absurding even the Shins -- "I'm out of here, I'm taking off / You can have my cigarettes and, mister, you can have my cough." The loungy rhythm of this number is simply too delicious, and dig that lazy slide guitar in the bridge.
10. "This Is A Low" / Blur
From Parklife (1994)
Mmm, what a lovely sonic haze enfolds this modern bit of BritPop psychedelia -- I sink right into it. My sentimental favorite Blur album. Should have known Damon Albarn would be a Kinks fan...